8TH GRADE BLACK BELT
Master Andrea is the founder and head instructor of CDP Melbourne. She relocated to her hometown Melbourne after a thirteen year absence and in 2012 under the guidance of SGM Cacoy Canete, Andrea founded Cacoy Doce Pares Melbourne.
She began training in martial arts in 1990 with realistic unarmed self-defense and close quarters combat in Melbourne, Australia. She added training in basic knife defense, Tae Kwon Do, Boxing, Kickboxing and Karate, in Adelaide, South Australia. She then trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu initially with the Gracie Academy (Barcelona) and later under the guidance of Brazil’s World Champion Reinaldo Ribeiro also in Barcelona, Spain.
Andrea started training in Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima and Filipino Stick-fighting under the instruction of GM Vince Palumbo (currently 11th Grade), after being introduced to Supreme Grand Master Cacoy by GM Vince in 2003 at a Pangamot seminar held in Adelaide, South Australia.
After relocating to Spain for work and further study in 2008, Andrea was granted permission by SGM Cacoy to start teaching CDP in Barcelona. For the past 8 years Andrea has been strongly influenced by her principle mentor SGM Cacoy Canete and many of his disciples, in particular GM Ron Lew (11th Grade Black Belt), GM Anthony Kleeman (11th Grade), GM Craig Bajraktarevic-Hayward (10th Grade) and GM John-John Mac (10th Grade) and recently GM Mike Barker (9th Grade). Andrea feels very privileged to have hosted four of these Grand Masters at CDP Melbourne (each of whom will feature in upcoming instructor profiles on our FB page), in addition to hosting GM Richard Bustillo (11th Grade) in Barcelona in 2010 for a Mixed Martial Arts seminar.
Andrea has attended for training at numerous Cacoy Doce Pares and Mixed Martial Arts seminars and workshops around Australia, in the U.S., Spain, Germany, Indonesia and the Philippines. Her development has been deeply inspired and influenced by SGM Cacoy and his disciples.
Recently Andrea has added the practice of the Tibetan Wave Whip since her tuition from Grand Master Ron Lew (11th Grade).
Andrea made her debut in Full-contact Filipino Stick-fighting (Sports Eskrima) in Los Angeles in 2005 and she has since won 10 World Championship Titles (both single and double stick disciplines in 2006, 2007, 2009) and then in 2014 Andrea obtained Gold at the World Championships for single stick fighting. Her 2014 victory occurred after a 5 year absence from competition during which time it took her 3 years to recover from nerve damage which had caused a form of paralysis in one leg. After re-learning how to walk, Andrea had her heart set on competing again in Cacoy Doce Pares Sports Eskrima. Eleven months after regaining the ability to walk, she was at the World Championships in Cebu City, as a competitor once again.
Andrea has been inducted into 3 CDP International Martial Arts Hall of Fame in Cebu City, Philippines.: 2008 “Most Notable Eskrima Competitor of the Year”; 2010 “Valuable Doce Pares Blackbelt”; 2014 “Exemplary Dedication to Cacoy Doce Pares.”
Andrea was very fortunate in 2014 after winning 3 Gold at the Australasian Titles to become an ambassador for Vivobarefoot Australia and New Zealand for their highly functional performance and lifestyle shoes. As an Osteopath Andrea is a big advocate for Vivobarefoot shoes. Vivobarefoot are the only shoes Andrea chooses to wear while training and fighting and also the only shoes she wears on a daily basis for lifestyle and work environments.
Andrea was nominated in 2014 for the “Local Heroine” Award for the Women’s Health Magazine “I Support Women in Sport” Awards.
In 2014 Andrea was promoted by SGM Cacoy to 7th Grade black belt in Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima / Eskrido at the Cacoy Doce Pares World Federation HQ, Cebu City, Philippines. SGM Cacoy has personally promoted Andrea since obtaining her 2nd Grade Black Belt. She feels deeply honored to be able to help pass on the gifts of Cacoy Doce Pares, always in gratitude to her teacher and mentor, the one and only Supreme Grand Master Cacoy Canete.
Andrea was promoted to 8th Grade Black Belt by The Cacoy Canete Doce Pares World Federation in 2018.
In 2019 Andrea won 5 Gold at the Centennial Cup held in Cebu City, Philippines, including Gold for Single stick fight, double stick fight, kulata fight, double weapon form and bladed weapon form. She has had 70 full-contact stick-fights to date and she has won most of these bouts.
In 2020 when the global pandemic hit, Andrea co-created the International Speed Striking Challenge, alongside Grandmaster John Mac.
This virtual event was a way of unifying eskrimadors from around the world and encouraging training and competing despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic. This was a fundraising event in which all funds raised were donated to many families in the Philippines to help through the crisis.
Andrea also conducted virtual martial arts classes for her own students in Melbourne, Australia throughout the imposed lockdowns of the pandemic.